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Mewsings: My Life as a Jewish Cat

Mewsings: My Life as a Jewish Cat [Kindle Edition]

Greta Beigel

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Product Description

Product Description

In the playful/educational "Mewsings: My Life as a Jewish Cat," the much-loved Ketzel pontificates in rhyme on what it takes to be a good Jew in these modern times. Clearly the author's alter ego, cat Ketzel celebrates the High Holidays, relishing the rituals and ethnic foods of her rich cultural heritage. Each fall, the feline remains in awe of Rosh Hashanah, expressing hope for peace on this Earth. But soon becomes anxious with the rapidly-approaching Day of Atonement--and mandated food fast. Comes Nov/December, Ketzel recalls those "Hanukkah Nights/Lights" dreaming of dreidels and latkes, and recounting how over eight nights we kindle candles as sacred rite. With the advent of spring and Passover, she listens attentively to tales of the Hebrews' escape from Egypt & slavery--all the while salivating over the gefilte fish she knows will be served during Seder celebrations. Above all, whether on travels to Iceland, New Zealand, and lovely Hawaii, or merely at home reclining and idle, Ketzel in her musings accords her own Yiddishe Mamma a five-meow rating.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 826 KB
  • Print Length: 33 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00486U5YS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #959,846 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Greta Beigel, a child piano prodigy, was raised in an Orthodox Jewish household in Johannesburg at the height of apartheid. Greta's mother Mary, stigmatized by divorce, lived vicariously through her talented daughter, all in an effort to gain acceptance from her unforgiving Jewish brethren. Greta survived many years of torment at the hands of her superambitious mother, but went on to win a prestigious piano scholarship from the University of South Africa. Thanks to that prize, Greta was able to escape Africa and a certain death, and head for California where she reunited with her long-lost Yiddishe father Richard who had left the family when she was 10 and sailed for America. In Los Angeles, Greta furthered her studies with pedagogue Aube Tzerko before metamorphosing into a music journalist, working for more than a decade as a staff writer and arts editor at the Los Angeles Times. She has contributed to the New York Times. To her surprise, Greta has published three Jewish-themed books: "Mewsings: My Life as a Jewish Cat," featuring cat Ketzel's take on modern Judaism, especially the High Holy Days--also recorded as an audio CD/MP3 with Greta narrating and some tracks by pianist Michael Hoppe; "A Jew from Riga," a short story capturing the author's hunger to learn more about her father's mysterious past, and "Kvetch: One Bitch of a Life," a memoir about growing up Jewish and gifted in South Africa, circa the '50s and '60s.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Meowing in Yiddish! 8 Sep 2011
By J. Chambers - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Note: This review was originally published at Red Adept Reviews on August 11, 2011.

Overall: 4 stars

At the very least, "Mewsings: My Life as a Jewish Cat" has to be one of the quirkiest books I've read. Consider that:

1. It's written by a female calico cat named Ketzel.

2. Ketzel is an Orthodox Jewish cat who's fluent in Yiddish.

3. It's a collection of poems, or at least, rhyming lines.

Mewsings was actually a mostly humorous, sometimes poignant, look at the world from a cat's point of view. Ketzel was a good Jew, but those days of fasting could be so inconvenient!

On the fasting required for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur):

In all truth I must say
On this day
I wish I were a stray
Or even a fat homely pigeon
Belonging to another religion

And on matzo balls for Passover:

She makes my favorite: matzo ball soup
(A definite winner I believe in any group)
She adds fat and water and enough matzo meal
Melding soft, gushy matzo balls with considerable zeal
As opposed to last year's disaster
Opening a can, those little balls came out as hard as plaster

Ketzel travels a lot, at least for a cat:

Mamma's a good writer who travels the world
And takes me with because I'm her little girl
She transports me in a peek-a-boo bag on the plane
Sedated, I arrive at our destination feeling no pain

Mewsings may not have been great literature, but the rhyming stories were cute and humorous, and I enjoyed reading them.

There were a few Yiddish words that my Kindle's built-in dictionary didn't recognize, but the author included a useful glossary at the end of the book.

"Mewsings: My Life as a Jewish Cat" has 489 Kindle locations. It's a short book, less than an hour to digest for most readers. Text-to-speech and lending are enabled.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Whimsy 22 Nov 2010
By Dog Lover - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book delightful, educational and primarily whimsical...the author is very good with words and playful scenarios, whilst actually educating the reader too!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A happy "tail" to bring smiles. 9 Nov 2010
By Avid Reader - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
How interesting it is to read what a cat thinks about as it lounges through life.
Let's have more observations.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing mewsings 28 Oct 2010
By Cat lady - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a clever concept-a cat who feels Jewish. The very name Ketzel-Ketzela evokes nostalgia for those close-knit Jewish families of yesteryears. But this is one smart calico.
By choosing rhymes as the medium for her musings about custom and tradition, Ketzel refrains from taking on the big boys and girls of Academia--let alone,heaven forbid, any learned rebbe.
Paws firmly grounded, Ketzel rather focuses on important feline/Jewish values: Family, friendship, fun and food.
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